DISASTERS: The Blackest Hours

The U.S. public, long conditioned to the principle that faster travel means greater danger, had all but forgotten the disastrous airline crashes of last winter; U.S. airliners were taking off once again with full passenger lists. Then, like spring lightning, disaster struck, again & again. In 24 hours of the Memorial Day weekend, U.S. commercial aviation lived through the blackest hours of its lively history.

In Japan, an Army C-54 rammed into a mountain: 40 killed. In Iceland, a U.S.-made DC-3, operated by Icelandic Airways, crashed into a mountain peak: 25 killed. The crashes were scarcely noticed, because disaster had...

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